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Through the lens of education reform and current education politics, this book attempts to situate young people within a number of theoretical and political considerations that offer up a new “analytic of youth”, one that posits not only the emergence of a new way to talk about youth but also a new language for understanding and critically engaging the politics that increasingly frames every aspect of their lives. Giroux explores the current conditions of youth and their educational experiences within the emerging discourses of bio-power and disposability, while relating how these forces work against young people. In doing so, he develops a notion of disposability, drawing upon the work of theorists such as Zygmunt Bauman, Judith Butler, Agamben, Foucault, and others as a theoretical foundation for addressing the emergence of a rigid market fundamentalism. This is blatantly celebrated as a new Gilded Age, shaping public culture in which young people are increasingly portrayed as dangerous and hence no longer appear to be a referent for a democratic future. Giroux also looks at the increasing militarization and commercialization of the public sphere and develop the implications this has for how American society takes up the issue of youth and how our educational systems can transform the position of youth from one of disposability to one of empowerment.
A recent article by Giroux: http://www.counterpunch.org/giroux02062009.html